Our Team

The Open College is an independent private college with many thousands of students providing over 90 QQI Levels 5 & 6 Award courses. Established in 2004 and QQI (formerly FETAC) Accredited in 2008.

The Open College has a proud record of innovation in education which has in just over few years become Ireland’s largest provider of QQI approved online distance learning courses and this recognition is based on the quality of our course materials, the professionalism of our tutors and the exceptional value for money we offer.

Our professionally qualified and industry experienced course tutors and writers are fully aware of learner needs and have designed and written courses that are flexible and up to date with current situations/legislation and learning styles as well as meeting the QQI requirements regarding course content/learning outcomes.


Richard Whelan – President of The Open College

Richard Whelan FCA is a Chartered Accountant and was a partner in KPMG for 23 years, focusing primarily on audit and advisory work. An active member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, he is the author of a book on the ideology underlying Al Qaeda and has published numerous articles on international politics.

He serves on the International Advisory Committee of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. He is a director or adviser to a number of companies, public and private, and was the independent Chairman of the Irish Course Providers Association.


Siobhan Lynch – Healthcare Tutor

Siobhan is a Healthcare Trainer with over 12 years’ experience delivering the QQI Healthcare Award Modules at The Open College and in the north east through various learning formats, such as Distance, Blended Learning and Classroom Teaching.

Siobhan is a Registered General Nurse, who has 17 years clinical experience. Siobhan’s nursing experiences spans across a number of specialties such as Operating Department Nursing, Rehabilitation Nursing, Medical, Surgical and Aged Care, caring for a diverse range of clients and age groups.

Siobhan obtained her RGN nursing qualification with Craigavon Area Hospital, Armagh. She also has studied with the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland where she obtained a Higher Diploma in Operating Nursing and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Practice Development.

Siobhan is a committed tutor who strongly believes in the importance of guiding and supporting learners to achieve their educational and personal goals as they return to education.


Henry Sheahan – Business Tutor

Henry has a wealth of adult learning tutoring experience in the areas of Business Management, Business Administration, Work Experience, Personal Effectiveness in the Workplace, Career Planning, Health & Safety, Purchasing & Procurement and Customer Service.

Henry has been training in the above areas for the past twenty-one years and some of his most impressive qualifications include a Level 9 in Education & Training, a Certificate in Training and Development (Level 7), a Level 7 from NQAI in Health and Safety and a certificate in Personal Development and Leadership skills.

Henry also holds a BBS in Procurement and Supply Chain and is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering.

Henry is passionate about his subject matter and is dedicated to providing his students with as much help and guidance as possible and uses a wide range of training techniques to enhance the adult learning journey.


Mary McGlynn – Careers Manager

Mary is a Careers & Development Manager with a wealth of experience providing Careers Advice, Coaching, and Guidance in various Adult Learning educational settings. Her previous experience includes working for Donegal ETB (Education and Training Board) and working for the government initiative ‘Momentum’ where she tutored and managed classes for the long-term unemployed returning to work.

Mary joined The Open College in 2013 where she has been delivering career guidance classes, managing courses, providing one to one mentoring, and organising work placements and employment for our learners.

Mary works very closely with employers and in doing so, keeps up to date with what they look for in employees. She also developed our ‘Careers Hub’ and online Careers Advice courses.

Mary holds a Level 6 in Train the Trainer, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology and the Irish Language, a Post Graduate Diploma in Career Guidance and is currently completing a Psychotherapy course. She also completed a Mindfulness programme with the Irish Mindfulness Institute.

Mary has a passion and genuine interest in guiding and supporting our learners to achieve their full potential and lead them to a more positive and fulfilling future no matter what background they have come from.


Lorraine Walsh – Business & Management Tutor

Lorraine is a Business Trainer who has been delivering training since 2011. She has delivered courses all over the country. As part of her range of courses, she delivers, Train the Trainer, Business Planning, Supervisory Management, Conflict Management, Project Management, Event Management and Managing People and Creating ICT Resources.

Lorraine holds an Honours Bachelor degree in Business Studies, specialising in Human Resource Management, a Diploma in Accountancy and a Certificate in Business studies, a Honours Higher Diploma in Education. Lorraine teaches learners to develop a love for their subject matter.

Constant good feedback on her delivery states she is a very approachable, helpful tutor who uses a wide variety of techniques to enhance learner interest and retention of knowledge.


Gerry Clancy – Train the Trainer Tutor

Gerry has over 25 years of experience, in a business background having worked in many sectors (IT, Finance, Training, Government and FMCG). Gerry has managed, developed and delivered Consultancy in many areas (Training, Business, Software Solutions and IT Hardware) and is very motivated and dependable, mature and business aware.

His key strength is that he is people person which is the most important resource in the success of any training, team or project delivery, and together with his 25 years of Training and Project Management experience and these attributes have been the reasons for such a successful lecturing career to date.

Training and Lecturing with:

Specifically Gerry has been involved in Training Design and Delivery for New Approach Training, The Open College, Pulse College, Windmill Lane College, Griffith College, Ormond College, Imagination Gym, Big Wave Media and Castleknock Community College. Lecturing in:

  • Academic: BA Honours Degree In Music Technology, Diploma and Certificate Courses in Music/Film, Business Development, Project Management, Search Engine Optimisation, Web Site Design, Marketing on-line through Social Media.
  • FETAC: currently delivering over 5 QQI courses up to L6 including and Train the Trainer (almost 10 years with 99% success rates), Communications etc..,
  • City and Guilds: over 10 C&G Modules including Business and Communications.
  • APPLE: delivering 6 Modules in OSX, iLife, Intro to MAC OS Leopard/Lion, Music and Film Production, Apple MAC Networking and Maintenance, Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, iPhone for Business, iPad for Business.
  • Microsoft: Applications and OS.


Neal Murphy BSc – Sports & Fitness Tutor

The Open College Sports Courses Co – Ordinator and Tutor Neal Murphy qualified with a BSc in Sports Science from De Montfort University in England and has also achieved an MBS Masters Degree Qualification from Dublin City University.  He has 20 years experience working in the Sports and Leisure Industry both in Ireland and the UK. Neal has also represented the Irish Squash team at World Championship level in Hong Kong and Pakistan.

This combination of industry experience and International level sports performance gives Neal great insight into how our students should to be tutored. Neal has worked with The Open College developing new courses and maintaining our QQI standards in this area for the last few years.

‘The Open College strives to be the leading Online Sports Course provider by combining the highest quality course content with the most qualified Tutors. Our Sports tutors have achieved Masters Degree level and are working towards Doctorate Level qualifications. This level of tutor expertise is the highest in Ireland . Our tutors are very highly regarded in the Sports Industry having varied experience from coaching Inter County level GAA teams and working in high performance Sports units nationally.’ – Neal Murphy Sports Courses Co – Ordinator.


Ciarán McCarthy – Law Tutor

Ciarán is a practicing barrister who holds degrees from University College Cork and the Honorable Society of Kings Inns. In this capacity, Ciarán appears in courts and tribunals and has additionally lectured in a number of institutions and published academic papers on various legal issues, so he has lots of invaluable experience both in the field and in education.

Ciaran is extremely passionate about his Law subjects and his key strength is his ability to provide quality feedback to our students while thoroughly reviewing their work. With his industry experience and belief in lifelong learning, Ciaran has some great insight on how students should be tutored to be as prepared as possible in the area of Law.

Mairead McHale – Special Needs Education Tutor

Mairéad McHale delivers the Special Needs Assisting (QQI level 5) module. As well as heading up her special education training company, Mairéad is a special education and social studies tutor with Kildare & Wicklow Education Training Board and an associate lecturer with The Department of Adult & Community Education at Maynooth University.

With over 12 years of special education experience working with children on the autism spectrum and with other conditions, Mairéad brings a wealth of practical knowledge to the courses she teaches.

Qualifications Include:

  • Master of Education (Maynooth University)
  • Postgraduate Professional Diploma in Special & Inclusive Education (DCU)
  • Higher Diploma in Further Education (Maynooth University)
  • BA (Hons) Community Studies (Social Science) (Maynooth University)
  • Advanced Certificate in Psychology (Maynooth University)
  • Special Needs Assisting (The College of Progressive Education & Froebel)

Along with the above formal qualifications, Mairéad holds many certificates and CPD qualifications in the area of special education. She is also a registered teacher with The Teaching Council (Registration # 188459).


Siobhan Mannion – Early Childhood Care & Education Tutor

Siobhan has been involved in the Early years Education sector for over 15 years. She has worked in various Early years education settings, including primary schools, pre-schools and Montessori schools. She has been involved in the management of Early years settings and began working in the Adult Education sector over 7 years ago.

Siobhan has a passion for Education and for quality Early Years education and therefore has high expectations for her learners. She has vast experience delivering Early Years modules both classroom and online and loves being a tutor.

Qualifications Include:

  • Ba Humanities DCU Psychology Major
  • Adv Dip Montessori education
  • Dip Montessori Education
  • City and Guilds 7307 Teaching Adult learners.


Oxana Martynova – Early Childhood Care & Education Tutor

Oxana is the Early Childhood Care & Education tutor at The Open College. She has an Honours Bachelor’s Degree from University College Dublin, and an International Post-Graduate Diploma in Montessori Education (3-6 years). Oxana has also completed a QQI level 6 Training, Delivery  & Education course and speaks both Russian and English fluently.

Oxana has almost a decade’s experience working with children and specialises in language development and interactive learning through play. In her time working in childcare, she held a number of roles including Montessori teacher, manager, and mentor to 3rd level students who wished to enter the childcare sector.

She is passionate about early childhood education, and believes in empowering students through knowledge transfer. Oxana endeavours to make learning a positive experience for students by combining her own practical experience and knowledge from working in the childcare industry with relevant course materials.


Daryl Mahon – Health & Social Care Degree Lecturer

Daryl has worked across the health and social care sector for over a decade in areas such as youth, homelessness, addiction rehabilitation and psychotherapy. Having been a frontline practitioner and manager in services, he has a variety of experiences and research interests.

Daryl is passionate about evidence-based practice and practice based-evidence. Especially the intersect between the gap that occurs between evidence and practice, and how we can involve clients/service users in their care and service

Daryl has also been published in several peer reviewed academic journals in diverse areas related to psychotherapy outcomes, addiction and leadership. He lectures in several areas including counselling and forensic psychology with the Open University, in addition to training established practitioners in Servant Leadership and Feedback Informed Treatment which he has published in. Daryl is currently completing a Doctor of Social Science in Maynooth University.


Qualifications include:

  • Current Doctorate candidate
  • Master’s degree Leadership and Management Non-profit
  • BA Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) Supervisor & Trainer
  • Decade of CPD development courses.


Dr. Caroline West – Health & Social Care Degree Lecturer

Dr. Caroline West completed her PhD in 2020. This research looked at the experiences of women working in the sex industry, an area of research that lead to an interest in how academic research impacts marginalised or vulnerable groups, and how research can be carried out ethically without harming participants. She is also interested in how power dynamics in academia can affect research through language choices, research methods, and participant selection.

Caroline has presented her research in Ireland, Northern Ireland, California, and Thailand. She is a regular media commentator and has appeared on radio, tv, and in print. She has previously taught at DCU and ISB and presented guest lectures at NUIG and IICP.

She has also been named as one of Ireland’s ‘Wonder Women: Meet the Women shaping 2020’ by Irish Country Woman magazine, and ‘22 high-flying scientists making the world a better place in 2019,’ by Silicon Republic which is quite impressive.


Caroline’s previous academic qualifications include:

  • MA in Sexuality Studies
  • HDip in Psychoanalysis
  • BA in Social Science.


Fiona McKay – Health & Social Care Degree Lecturer

Fiona is an Experienced and Educated Social Care Professional with strong leadership and management qualities. She has worked in Social Care for over 19 years and gained some invaluable experience working in various Social Care areas including intellectual and physical disabilities.

Fiona has a vested interest and passion for supporting, mentoring and supervising students while on work placement and has some excellent experience supervising both staff and students in her current role as a Planning and Projects Coordinator at St. Margaret’s Centre for intellectual Disability.


Fiona’s Career Highlights include:

  • Obtaining a Masters in Management, Community and Voluntary Sector from DCU
  • SSDL\SRV Champion
  • Being a Self-care advocate
  • CORU, Assisted Decision Making Trainer
  • Lecturer and Placement Supervisor – Social Care – BA Hons Degree, The Open College.


Yvonne Pigott – Early Learning & Care Degree Lecturer

Yvonne holds a Degree in Psychology, a MSc in Applied Psychology and is currently in training as a Child and Educational Psychologist.

Yvonne has some invaluable experience having worked ten years with adults and children with various complex and additional needs, seven of which were either spent working directly with children and families or in educating and mentoring ECCE professionals as an Early Years Specialist with Pobal.

Some of Yvonne’s specific interests include diversity and inclusion, ASD, preschool to primary school transition, strengths-based practice and nurturing approaches.

Yvonne has also completed various courses which compliment her profile which include:

  • Specific language courses such as ISL, Lámh, Learning Language and Loving It.
  • Working with children with ASD
  • Certificate in and Introduction to Play Therapy Equality
  • Diversity and Inclusion Training
  • Supporting Challenging Behaviour
  • Teacher Training (accredited trainer)
  • Helping Children and Teens to Cope with Anxiety
  • Sensory Processing in the Early Years
  • Teaching Mindfulness to Children
  • Teach Me As I AM in the Early Years
  • Supporting children with anxiety.


Siobhán Browne – Early Learning & Care Degree Lecturer

Siobhán has over 13 years experience in the Early Years sector with a decade at management level. She currently manages a full day care facility in the South East and is passionate about educating the youngest members of society.

Siobhán has experience with lecturing and module development at degree level on Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes. She currently tutors several QQI modules with The Open College, including Child Development, Early Childhood Curriculum, Work Experience modules and several Montessori based modules. She is an advocate for the sector and has high expectations for Early Years Educators.


Siobhan’s Qualifications include:

  • Honours Degree in Psychological Studies and Sociology from N.U.I. Galway
  • Masters Degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies from Carlow I.T.


She also has a significant number of certificates in various training areas relating to the Early Years sector including:

  • Child Protection (Children First)
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Speech and Language for 0-6 years
  • Sign Language (ISL beginner level)
  • Childhood in the Digital Age
  • Leadership and teamwork in the early years
  • Early Years Education Inspections
  • Sensory Learning and Development
  • Teach me AsIAm
  • ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma).


Paul O’Callaghan – Early Learning & Care Degree Lecturer

Paul joined the Open College in 2020 and is a highly experienced lecturer, teacher and leader. Currently, he is a primary school deputy principal while also focusing on the course development and lecturing for our new Early Childcare degree course.

Paul has gained invaluable experience lecturing with a variety of colleges and educational settings, on undergraduate and post-graduate courses. His areas of expertise include: leadership, ICT, creativity and course development.


Paul’s Qualifications include:

  • Master’s in Education, Leadership and Management (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs (Mary Immaculate College)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in 21st Century Teaching and Learning (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Bachelor of Education with Music (Mary Immaculate College)
  • Apple Teacher (Apple Teacher Learning Centre).


Chloe Keegan – Early Learning & Care Degree Lecturer

Chloe is an experienced Childcare Lecturer having worked in various positions in the childcare sector including management and compliance since 2014. Chloe currently lectures with the City of Dublin Education and Training Board and the Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board having lectured Childcare, Psychology and Special Needs courses since 2018.

Her passions lie in conducting research directly with children as co-researchers, promoting children’s rights and encouraging superhero play in curriculum to support moral development for early years and primary school curriculum. She has presented various aspects of her research in conferences such as the THRIECE conference and the London International Conference of Education in 2020 and is very driven to inspire practitioners to upskill in the childcare sector.

Currently, she is completing her PhD with Maynooth University.

Chloe’s combined position of being both a lecturer and a student allows her to relate easily to students on a personal and professional level. She is very motivated in lifelong learning and promotes this value in all that she teaches.


Qualifications include:

  • Honours Degree in Child, Family and Youth Studies – Carlow IT
  • Masters Degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies – Carlow I.T.


Des Earls BSc – Nutrition & Sports Nutrition Tutor

Des received his BSc. in Sport Science and Health from Dublin City University. He subsequently went on to complete a MSc. in Strength and Conditioning at St. Mary’s University College, London. Des has been working in the Sports and Fitness Industry since 2009 and has worked with athletes competing at national and international level, including 2012 Olympians, as well as various inter-county GAA teams.

Des is currently a Lecturer at an Institute of Technology where he lectures on Strength and Conditioning, Sport Science and Athletic Therapy programmes. He has also worked in some of Ireland’s top fitness facilities as well as previously working in one of Melbourne’s top gyms, 5th Element Wellness. Since 2012, Des has been an integral part of the Nutrition and Sports & Fitness tutoring team at The Open College.

Des is currently undertaking Doctoral research and hopes to complete his research in 2022. He has completed additional training in Blended Learning technologies and Research Supervision.

Des is currently a member of the UKSCA and is a Level 1 accredited anthropometrist with ISAK.

‘Having completed my own MSc. programme though online learning I can see the value learners get from The Open College’s Online Sports Courses. The ability to study and complete a course in your own time whilst also working allows learners to apply new knowledge on a daily basis.’ Des Earls – Sports Nutrition Tutor.


Dr. Michael Brennan – Healthcare Tutor

Dr. Michael Brennan, PhD, MA, M Ed, RPN, RNT, H Dip in Addiction Studies, Dip Social Studies has worked in healthcare since 1992 having registered as a mental health nurse with NMBI, he started in a healthcare educational role in 2003 on achieving a Master of Science in Education. He completed a Doctorate in Philosophy in 2012, from Trinity College Dublin.

In Michael’s career to date, he has published and presented at several conferences both nationally and internationally. He was Programme Coordinator for a Masters/Postgraduate Diploma in Dementia & Mental Health, in Trinity College since in 2003. Since 2017, Michael has worked as a tutor on various courses at different levels of education. This role involves coordination, teaching, assessment, supporting learners, both academically and pastorally, administration, evaluation, and ongoing programme development.

Michael’s philosophy on education is that it must have real meaning for students. He believes that learning should be about personal development and growth and not just about the acquisition of knowledge.

Through his teaching, he facilitates students to develop the skills, and the confidence to use their learning to impact their practice. This type of learning is a skill for life and not just for the purpose of gaining a qualification to practice.


Joe Plowman – Psychology Tutor

For nearly 20 years, Joseph has experience studying, working, and researching in both psychology and hypnotherapy. In psychology and healthcare, he has been involved in helping to run and deliver anxiety and depression psycho-education workshops in the UK, with patients referred by GPs, and has also helped to run and deliver life coaching workshops as part of a health psychology initiative in Bristol.

In Ireland, Joe has lectured in Human Growth and Development and has lectured and authored other nationally validated psychology courses, including psychology, applied psychology, and child psychology. He has also taught psychology and psycho-education classes at Secondary School level to transition year students. These classes (from 2008) were among the first in Ireland to involve lessons in happiness and sought to enhance student well-being. They were based on Rational Emotive Education, a CBT-based resilience program.

He has also worked briefly in early intervention (using applied behaviour analysis) with autistic children. He is a Founding Member of the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology in the UK and a member of the European Network for Positive Psychology.

Presently, Joseph’s interests continue to involve education and well-being, as well as applied psychology, coaching, and cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy.

Qualifications include:

  • Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist (GHR)
  • A First Class BSc (Hons) in Psychology.
  • MSc in Applied Psychology (Trinity College). Received the Trinity College Postgraduate Research Studentship, which was awarded based on competitive academic merit, in order to investigate positive psychology and the enhancement of human happiness and hope.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics (Trinity College)
  • Received primary and advanced certificate skills training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), the founding Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, via the Association of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (AREBT) in the UK. Joseph applies this and Beckian CBT approaches, while integrating positive psychology, with hypnosis as part of his cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy approach. Joseph also has training in other popular approaches, such as NLP.


Marie Harmon – Communications & Customer Service Tutor

Marie is a fully qualified further education tutor and secondary school teacher in Business, Economics and Accounting. As an experienced customer service assessor for a variety of further education companies in Ireland and a knowledgeable Market Researcher in both the public and private sector, Marie is very knowledgeable in her field of Business and Customer Service.

Marie holds a Bachelor of Business (honours) Degree in Business Management and a Master of Business Degree from the Institute of Technology, Tralee. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Operations Management from Dublin City University.

Marie is passionate about seeing her students progress and do well in their chosen subject. She considers herself to be approachable and eager to help and support lifelong learners to reach their full potential.


Barra Flynn BSc – Business Tutor

Barra holds a MSc in Training and Development from Queens University Belfast, having graduated with a 1st class honours primary Degree in Management and Business Studies also from Queen’s. Barra also holds a Diploma in Marketing, Advertising and PR from QUB also.

Barra is also an associate lecturer in Communications and Training at Maynooth University.

Barra uses his considerable experience in training to give the learner real practical skills when leaving his courses. He takes an individual-learner centred approach and his excellent communication skills and understanding of the learning process allows students on his courses achieve top results.

Barra has many years of experience in business and in education. He has managed his own marketing and advertising business for over 20 years and worked with Maynooth University for more than 12 years.


Damien Kelly – Business Tutor

Damien has worked with The Open College for over 2 years where he provides student support in addition to lecturing activities across a number of the Business programmes, namely E-Business, Marketing Practice, Digital Marketing and Personal and Professional Development. Damien is also the Chairperson of the Academic Board with The Open College.

Damien is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Taxation consultant who holds both under-graduate and post-graduate qualifications with Dublin City University and The Smurfit School of Business. Damien placed first in Ireland in the Chartered Taxation exams and secured first class honours in his examinations.

For nearly 20 years Damien has worked in both the Private and Public Sectors as well as lecturing across a number of colleges and institutions in the Business arena. During this time, Damien has held numerous senior management roles with responsibility and accountability across Marketing, Finance, Taxation, Procurement, Data Intelligence, Public Relations, Human Resources, Facilities Management, Supply Chain, Health and Safety, Customer Service, Corporate and Social Responsibility and Emotional Intelligence.

Damien has also worked with Multi-National Corporations in Ireland, the US and Europe and has designed, developed, tutored and implemented many Marketing, Financial, Taxation, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Personal and Professional Development, Customer Service, Education, Emotional Intelligence and Cross Border Programmes targeted at influencing and improving the work opportunities and lives of people living in Ireland and abroad.


Fiona Skelly – Exercise & Fitness Tutor

Fiona has been working in the fitness  industry since 2010. Outside her lecturing work with The Open College. she works as a fitness instructor in the DCU sports complex. She is a current PhD student carrying out research on the benefits of community based exercise for individuals with chronic illness. In addition, Fiona is a strength and conditioning coach for numerous GAA teams in Dublin.

Fiona’s Qualifications include:

  • BSc in Sports Science and Health
  • ITEC qualified gym instructor, studio instructor and PT
  • BACPR qualification in cardiac rehabilitation
  • Current PhD research student.

Fiona Says:

“My passion is the use of exercise to optimise health and well-being and improve quality of life. I believe that a physically active lifestyle can have benefits for all, regardless of fitness levels or abilities.”


Tara Fitzgibbon – Exercise & Fitness Tutor

Since obtaining a BSc in Sports Science & Health in 2020 Tara has been working as a personal trainer and sports programme officer with the Irish Wheelchair Association.

Tara has worked with women and men’s teams in Gaelic football, hurling and camogie and wheelchair basketball.

In her role with Irish Wheelchair Association, Tara also trains children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities and has a great interest in promoting inclusion and adapted exercise.


Kelley Anne Faye – Sports Psychology Tutor

Kelley is an applied performance psychologist with 10+ years experience of working in high performance sport. She has attended many competitions and training camps with athletes and teams helping them prepare for competitive performance including the Winter Paralympics in South Korea with team GB and numerous World & European Championships (with GB & Irish athletes).

It is this practical experience in high level sport which enables Kelley to demonstrate to students how sport psychology theory applies in everyday settings to improve performance.

Kelley studied Sport & Exercise Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire where she gained both her BSc & MSc.

Following completion of her Masters she took up an associate lecturer post at UCLAN before returning home to Ireland to work for the Sports Institute Northern Ireland. Kelley now runs her own company KF Performance and supports many GB & Irish athletes in their quest to succeed.

Kelley also delivers workshops in Mental Health, Resilience and Leadership as well as many other topics in both the Education & Corporate sectors. She is currently lead Performance psychologist for a number of international & professional sports.


Marianne Byrne – Human Resources Tutor

Marianne is a Human Resources & Training Consultant. She has been working with The Open College since 2013, mainly as a Tutor in Human Resources (QQI level 6).

She also delivers ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse and Aggressive Behaviour Management’ training to our internal and external Healthcare students.

Prior to this Marianne has a wealth of health service experience with over 30 years before taking early retirement. A highly competent professional with a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree and a member of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (MCIPD). She studied in TU4Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.

Her other specialities are in operating an Employment Law Advisory Service and she participates in panel interviews, Career planning, Enneagram training, Induction, Grievance & Disciplinary, Dignity at Work and Stress management, are amongst her other training programmes.

Whilst working for the health services she developed a passion for delivering training and now delivers programmes that are easy to understand with lots of variety and at a pace that takes everyone’s learning style into consideration.


Louise Mooney – Special Education Tutor

Louise is an adult educator in the further education sector for many years. With extensive experience of facilitating both QQI Level 5 and 6 Special Needs Assisting courses she brings a wealth of both professional and personal knowledge of special educational needs to her course delivery.

Louise has a specific interest in Autism Spectrum Condition, inclusion and positive behaviour support, Louise has attended many workshops that focus on managing anxiety and emotional dysregulation.

Louise’s qualifications include:

  • BA in Mathematical Studies and Geography (Maynooth University)
  • Higher Diploma in Information Technology (Maynooth University)
  • JEB Teacher Diploma in ICT
  • Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing (Digital Marketing Institute)
  • Higher Diploma in Further Education (Maynooth University)
  • Louise has also completed both QQI Level 5 and Level 6 Special Needs Assisting modules.

Louise is a registered teacher with the Teaching Council of Ireland.


Mary Moriarty – Early Childhood Care & Education Tutor

Mary has worked with Children over the last 7 years in both a full day care setting and a Montessori/pre-school settings and has a long standing and passionate interest in Diversity and Inclusion.

Mary has years of experience in teaching all the Early Years modules including Child development, Child- Health and well-being, Early childhood Education and Play, Early childhood curriculum, Challenging Behaviour, Children with Additional needs, and SNA both Level 5 and Level 6 courses.

Mary is a very motivated person and promotes many values in the students she teaches and with vast knowledge in online learning, she also brings a lot of hands-on expertise to the learners providing them with real life experiences of working in the sector.

Her main goal is to provide a stimulating and enjoyable learning environment that promotes engagement and participation while also meeting the needs of individual students.

Mary’s qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Arts (Level 8) in Early Childhood Education (MTU)
  • Graduate Diploma/ MEd in Adult and Further Education (Level 9).

Other Certificates Include:

  • Child Protection (Children First), Equality and Diversity, Leadership for Inclusion Programme, Play Therapy, Puppetry for children, Fire Safety in the Childcare setting, Supervisory Management, Early years Education Inspections.

Mary is a registered teacher with the Teaching Council of Ireland.


Lisa Ryan – Early Childhood Care & Education Tutor

Lisa has worked as an Early Year’s Montessori preschool manager for 10 years. Lisa holds an Honours Degree in Early Years Education & Care Studies from WIT, a Degree in Montessori Education from St. Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland and, the LINC special purpose Level 6 course to become an Inclusion Co-Ordinator.

Lisa also holds a level 6 in Training and Delivery along with various other certificates and is registered as a further education tutor with the Teaching Council of Ireland (reg. number 185516).

Lisa has been a tutor of further education for 3 years including Special Needs Assisting modules along with Level 2 modules in the Adult Learning Scheme both in classroom and online.

Lisa is passionate about delivering a high-quality standard of Education and Care in the Early Years with a specific interest in the Montessori Method of Education.  Lisa endeavours to pass on her years of practical experience as a Manager and Early Years Educator to her students through her various modules with The Open College.


Noel Brosnan – Training & Development Tutor

Noel has a strong reputation for facilitating practical and relevant training programmes which result in significant behavioural change, growth and development for managers / leaders, employees, teams and organisations.

He is proud of his interactive facilitation style, which helps maximise learning, skill development and behavioural change.

Noel is always conscious of creating a safe learning environment for learners, built on trust and openness. His intention is to keep theory and practice simple and build awareness and learning one-step at a time. Noel’s coaching and training methodologies are based on ‘brain friendly’ theories, which incorporate some of the latest developments in neuroscience and positive psychology.

Noel has delivered the QQI Level 6 Train the Trainer since 2008 and the QQI Special Purpose Award in Training and Development since 2012.

Noel has also designed and delivered training programmes in the health, pharmaceutical, financial and education sectors on leadership, change management, delegation, team development, communication, performance reviews, conflict resolution, employee induction and engagement, well being and resilience.

He is privileged to have served a wide variety of organisations and companies including: The Department of Education and Skills, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Hibernia College, The Open College, GE Healthcare, Glanbia, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Poppulo, Crest Solutions and Stryker.

Noel’s Qualifications include:

  • M.A. in Mindfulness, Coaching, Spirituality & Research, DCU, 2012
  • Certificate in Executive Coaching, i-coach academy, London, 2008
  • Certificate in Leadership Coaching, Performance Coach Training, London, 2006
  • Diploma in Life & Business Coaching, Mindstream Institute, Dublin, 2003
  • M. Phil, Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution, Trinity College, Dublin, 1992
  • B.Rel.Sc (Training and Learning, Education, Psychology), NUI, Maynooth, 1980


Sarah Watkins – Journalism Tutor

Sarah Beth Watkins has been a freelance writer for over 20 years writing for magazines and websites such as Your New Baby, Changing Ireland, ivenus.com, Banulacht’s Gender and Development Bulletin, Take a Break, Scouting, Motorcaravan Motorhome Monthly and many more.

She has written over 300 articles for the web on a variety of subjects. Her most recent work includes writing articles for Wikio Experts, Vista magazine, Overblog and New Consciousness Review and is co-editor of Writers Wheel magazine.

Sarah has also tutored Creative writing and Journalism courses for various Colleges and Community centres.

She is the author of Telling Life’s Tales, The Writer’s Internet, The Lifestyle Writer and Life Coaching for Writers available through Compass Books. Her history books include Lady Katherine Knollys, The Tudor Brandons, Anne of Cleves and Ireland’s Suffragettes.


Michelle Curley – Head of Programme Development & Validations

Michelle joined The Open College team in 2008 and since then has been at the heart of the college’s success. During this time Michelle has continued to develop both personally and professionally, which has contributed to her continued success and overall progression into various roles within the organization. Michelle initially joined the team as a general administrative assistant, eventually progressing into roles such as Certification Manger, Quality Assurance coordinator and is now the overall Academics Operations Manager for the College.

Michelle’s experience in these roles has provided her with a wealth of knowledge surrounding the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in an online context within the FET sector.

To date Michelle has led the college to success in many different projects that she has been involved with – from successfully leading the project of initial FETAC provider approval back in 2008, which saw the initial development of quality assurance structures, policies and procedures – to currently leading the project for QQI provider reengagement.

Michelle’s passion for education, lifelong learning and continued professional development is evident in her own educational record – most recently completing a BA Hons Degree in Social Science achieving 1st Class honors’. Michelle also plans to continue in her studies and has a particular interest in undertaking a Masters’ Degree specifically related to Education. Her previous qualifications include:

1. Certificate in Business Administration
2. Higher Diploma in Management

Michelle continues to strive for the success and development of the college, staff, and its students and is committed to providing inspired leadership to the college for years to come.


Elena Pandelska – Operations Manager

Elena joined The Open College team back in 2013 and has since been an integral part of the college’s operations. Starting as an Assignments and Results Coordinator, Elena moved on to the Certification Department making sure it reached its highest standards. Due to her dedication and drive, Elena has successfully moved on to her current role as Operations Manager for the College.

Elena has also contributed to the development of quality assurance, policies and procedures for the college and continues to maintain these to ensure a high standard is always maintained.
She has a vested interest in education, this being evident from her own educational background having been awarded a BA(Hons) Degree in Sociology and Geography and an MA in Sociology from Maynooth University.

Elena is an enthusiastic supporter of online education and will soon be receiving a Professional Diploma in Management and Leadership from the UCD Professional Academy.
Elena’s work and academic background has provided her with some invaluable experience and insight into quality teaching practices for both students and academic staff alike which she continues to implement on a daily basis.


Adrian Reen – Education Technologist

With five years’ experience working in the education sector, a master’s in education and a BSc. In Media Technology, Adrian joined the team in 2018 as our Education Technologist.

Adrian’s role involves the support and development of pedagogical progammes including video content and interactive courses and manages the production of learning content projects from start to finish.

With excellent analytical, problem-solving and interpersonal skills, as well as a range of technological proficiencies, Adrian is very interested in how technology can enhance the adult learner and has the ability to identify and develop expertise in content and uses various tools to develop resources which meet the diverse needs of our students using pedagogic principles.

Adrian has proven to be a valuable addition to the team due to his hard work and dedication to his role and actively keeps up to date with developments in educational technologies.

Adrian’s Qualifications include:

  • Master’s in E-Learning Design and Development (CIT)
  • BSC. In Media, Music & Performance Technology (University of Limerick)
  • Master’s in Education (The Open University).


Eoghan Fitzmaurice – Results Manager

Eoghan has worked in the Customer Service sector for over 12 years and uses this knowledge to deliver a first-rate student experience for the Open College. He also holds a QQI Major Award in Office Administration and Accounting so is therefore well versed to office work and its environment.

Eoghan specialises in delivering online support to learners in a professional and organised manner.
He works well in challenging and deadline-oriented environments to provide a speedy and proficient service to students as he is stress tolerant and has an eagerness to help find resolutions to any concerns or issue that may arise.

Eoghan has picked up some excellent communication and interpersonal skills throughout his career in the customer service industry, particularly in the adult learning field. This has enabled him to help hundreds of our learners along the way to achieving their various qualifications. Many of our students speak very highly of Eoghan and their comments always include his supportive and helpful approach to their queries.

Eoghan strives to help students in any way he can to achieve their educational goals and will continue to do so for years to come.


Dawid Maszkiewicz – Student Administration

With a background in sales and customer service, Dawid came on board with The Open College in 2018. Dawid has worked in various customer service roles before joining the college and has also worked as a sales executive in his native Poland before moving to Ireland in 2012.

Well-versed in assisting students in various aspects of their learning journey, Dawid is dedicated to maintaining a high level of standards for the students and the college and can work particularly well under pressure.

Dawid has a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism from the University of Business and Commerce, Wroclaw, Poland and plans to continue in his studies having a particular interest in psychology and Business.

Areas of proficiency include:

  • Student Account Management
  • Customer Service
  • Notification of QQI results to learners
  • Coordinating and Supervising Exams
  • Accounts administration.


Sophie Kennedy – Academic Liaison Officer

Sophie joined the team in 2014 and has been a valuable asset to the college ever since. During this time, she has worked in many different roles starting off as an Admissions & Results Coordinator, and then progressing to Certification Manager and Exam Coordinator. Her current role involves the roll out of support tools for our students such as Moodle, Turnitin and Microsoft teams.

Sophie has the ability to handle large amounts of work with excellent attention to detail while also supporting the office team ensuring the smooth running of day to day activities.

Sophie has a particular interest in the lifelong learner and helping them succeed towards a better future which is evident in the way she communicates and assists our learners with any queries or concerns they may have. She also takes great pride in providing an excellent and proficient service to the adult learner in any way she can.

Sophie’s Qualifications include:

  • Joint major BA in Sociology & Classics
  • GDip in Archaeology
  • MSC in World Heritage Management.


Brenda Maguire – Certification Manager

Brenda started working with the college in 2016 and has gone from strength to strength during her time here. Coming from a background in Customer Service, Human Resources and Team Management, she has worked and progressed to many different roles within our team including, Complaints Manager, Exam Coordinator, and dealing with Student Enquiries both over the phone and online.

Through completing a Diploma in Counselling, Brenda has learned some excellent communication and interpersonal skills and takes the time to really listen and empathise with our students. Her ability to be patient and understanding enables her to deal with any issues professionally and competently and she takes great pride in ensuring every student receives the best learning experience possible through her excellent ability to communicate in a supportive manner.

Brenda’s passion for the Further Education and Training sector is evident in her excellent work ethic and works hard to maintain this high standard in every aspect of her job.

Qualifications & Training include:

  • Diploma in community counselling
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Management Skills
  • Time Management
  • Complaint Management.


Eimantas Makarevicius – Administration Support Executive

Eimantas began working part time for the Open College back in 2016 as part of work experience however, due to his hard work and dedication to the college, he is now working on a full-time basis.

Through his time working in the different departments at the college, Eimantas has gained some excellent experience and knowledge about QQI processes and has become well accustomed to the courses and materials offered. Eimantas is currently studying a Water Management Degree programme and also has a particular interest and has studied Computing and Networking which has helped with his efficiency using IT systems and getting his work done as effectively as possible.

His willingness and ability to help and support students and indeed his fellow work colleagues has really shone through time and time again and he takes great pride in ensuring that every student receives the best experience possible and any issues are resolved in a timely manner.


Karen Gordillo – Student Services Coordinator

Karen joined The Open College team in 2022 and works with our Degree Programme students providing a range of student services and assistance.

Karen has years of experience working with a wide range of people and has worked with adults facilitating workshops in cognitive stimulation while also working with Psychologists in Alzheimer’s centres. She has volunteered in Poland for a year, helping children with vision impairments and also helping migrants.

Her most recent experience was working for a recognised online university in Spain supporting students in every stage of their academic journey during the completion of degrees in Psychology.

She is passionate about helping students and being an accessible point of contact for them, while also trying to make their education experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Qualifications include:

  • Coaching and Positive Psychology (University of Valencia, 2021)
  • MSc in Democracy, Human Rights and International Law  (University of Valencia, 2018)
  • BA in Psychology (University of Murcia, 2016)


Ken Clancy – Systems Upgrade Project Manager

With 25 years’ experience working in the customer service and sales industry and a BSc in Soft Systems Development, Ken joined the team in 2018 as our Systems Upgrade Project Manager.

Ken began his new role reviewing and upgrading some of the colleges internal software systems through the creation of a purpose-built Student Relations Management System which will replace older student management systems with a user-friendly integration of all current systems and analytical reporting.

Ken has worked in team-based environments all his career and enjoys working closely with staff to present new ideas for system improvements. Ken joined The Open College with a zest for hard work and goal achievement and is proving to be a valuable asset to the team.

Qualifications & Training include:

  • BSc in Soft Systems Development
  • Customer Service Trainer
  • CoreHR Payroll/ CoreBI Administration
  • Coaching for performance Training
  • Train the Trainer
  • Management Skills